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The author Nancy Singleton Hachisu writes in her new book 'Japan – A Cookbook' that only the 'can  do' naive attitude common to Americans led her to take on the 'gargantuan' task of documenting the totality of Japanese cuisine. While her modesty means that she gives credit to the collective effort of the cooks and artisans in Japan along with the photographers and the publisher, her scholarly contribution to the project is self-evident in this gorgeous book with over 400 simple elegant authentic recipes including soups, noodles, rices, pickles, one-pots, sweets, and vegetables. Published by Phaidon it is on sale now.

In her recipe for Ramen, she describes how to make the noodles from scratch using easily-acquired ingredients. ‘Here is a home-style ramen recipe for those who want to try making their own at home’, she says. You just want to take out the flour container, nip down to the supermarket to get some chicken thighs and get started.

Nancy advises opening the windows if you intend to cook her Teppan-Yaki recipe indoors as it 'creates a lot of smoke' – just the dish then to cook on the barbecue now the good weather has arrived. The classic elegance of Japanese food is showcased in the Asparagus with Sesame-Vinegar Dressing recipe. Cutting the vegetable on the bias in even slices not only elevates the look of the dish but also allows the asparagus to cook evenly. It is in these simple movements that Japanese cuisine demonstrates its intelligence and turns the simple to the sublime.

Japan – The Cookbook' is available from good bookshops, online and at the publisher's bookstore at Phaidon.